Reminds Firefighters/Residents of Brush Fire Dangers
PLYMOUTH — Chief G. Edward Bradley and the Plymouth Fire Department would like to remember the heroic efforts of the firefighters who battled the East Line Road Fire ahead of its 50th anniversary.
The East Line Road Fire, which burned 35 acres of Myles Standish State Forest land and 130 acres of adjoining private land, occurred on May 15, 1971. During the fire, seven Plymouth Firefighters and two brush trucks were burned.
Plymouth Firefighters received the initial call for response at 1:35 p.m. Shortly after their arrival, seven firefighters and two of their trucks were burned when a sudden shift in the wind caused flames to move directly in the path of the two brush breakers the firefighters were riding in. The brush breakers were a 1968 International Harvester Breaker 176 and a 1955 Dodge Power Wagon Breaker 177.
Two of the firefighters involved were seriously burned, two required ten day hospital care and four others were treated for varying degrees of burns and released from the hospital the same day. The eighth injury was the District 2 State Fire Warden who was stationed out of Myles Standish State Forest at the time of the fire.
Firefighters were able to have the fire under control by 3:41 p.m. and completely out by 5:05 p.m. The last truck and crew were back in the stations at 9:05 p.m. after overhauling the area for any hot spots.
Mutual aid from 15 communities on the South Shore and Cape Cod sent 40 firefighters and 16 brush breaker crews to the scene, and all Plymouth crews and brush trucks responded.
To read the full Special Report for the East Line Road Fire, click here.
“Unfortunately, not many people remember this extremely dangerous fire and those who bravely fought to stop the spread of the flames,” Chief Bradley said. “It’s important for us to remember this anniversary in honor of the firefighters who were injured and their families, and to remind ourselves of the potential dangers large-scale wood fires have. Even when responding to smaller brush fires, firefighters always exercise extreme caution and are aware of the circumstances they are in as they have no control over how the weather may change at any given moment.”
As always, especially ahead of the anniversary of this fire, residents are reminded that dry conditions coupled with low humidity and strong winds have the potential to increase the risk of fires from occurring.
As such, residents are urged to use caution during adverse weather conditions. If these conditions are present, residents are reminded to be extra careful with any open flames, to properly dispose of smoking materials and to use extra care with any outdoor cooking fires.